With: Graham F. Valentine, Martin Zeller
Concept and direction: Christoph Marthaler
Dramaturgy: Christoph Marthaler
Stage design: Duri Bischoff
Music: Martin Zeller
Costumes: Sara Kittelmann
Direction assistant: Camille Logoz, Floriane Mésenge
Sound: Charlotte Constant
Light design: Jean-Baptiste Boutte
Light technician: Jean-Luc Mutrux
General control: Stéphane Sagon
Stage: Stéphane Janvier
Dressing: Cécile Delanoë
Set Construction and accessories: Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne Workshop
Subtitles translation: Camille Logoz, Dominique Godderis-Chouzenoux
Production: Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
What is the connection between the Swiss director Christoph Marthaler and the Scottish actor Graham F. Valentine? A student’s complicity, music, countless performances and jokes shared and a pronounced taste for elegant irreverence, no doubt. Here they are together again, joined by the Zürich-based musician, viola da gamba player and baroque cellist Martin Zeller.
It so happened that by total coincidence, which probably owed more to telepathy, the young Graham knocked on the door of the boarding house run by the Marthalers one day in the early 1970s when beginning his literary studies in Zürich. And following a certain patronage feast, either hilarious or scandalous depending whose account you believe, the young and lanky student became an actor and singer for the tenants’ son, Christoph.
From the Rote Fabrik, the hub of Zürich’s independent scene, to the Cour d’Honneur du Palais des Papes in Avignon, from the decrepit atmosphere of the family boarding house at the Waldhaus in Sils-Maria with its old-fashioned chandelier, Christoph Marthaler and Graham F. Valentine have forged their path together, never in a straight line but not haphazardly either. Graham F. Valentine has gradually become, from show to show, a figure who is both knowledgeable and comical as an organiser of the hapless communities musically orchestrated by Marthaler.
A tyrannical butler, a deadpan master of ceremonies, an inept coordinator or a blind tour guide, he holds the power yet is controlled by it, observing everything out of the corner of his eye.
The director, a modest but radical renovator of musical theatre, a lover of good food and familiar rituals, dedicates this show to his exceptional actor and singer, armed with a programmatic title: Aucune Idée. Sometimes in the theatre, it is through the gaps that life creeps in.
Eric Vautrin, dramaturg of the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
Coproduction: Festival d’Automne Théâtre de la Ville, Paris - Temporada Alta, Festival international de Catalunya Giron/Salt - TANDEM Scène nationale - Fondazione Campania dei Festival, Campania Teatro Festival - Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg, scène européenne - Théâtre National de Nice – CDN Nice Côte d’Azur - Le Manège, scène nationale-Maubeuge
With the support of Pro Helvetia, Fondation Suisse pour la Culture - Fondation Françoise Champoud
Le Cercle des mécènes supports the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne on this show
With the production, technical, audiences & communication, and administration teams at the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
Texts and translations by Camille Logoz, Christoph Marthaler, Floriane Mésenge, Malte Ubenauf et Graham F. Valentine with quotations from prose works and poems by Walter Abish, Kurt Kusenberg, Henri Michaux, Georges Perec, Kurt Schwitters, Edith Sitwell, Richard Wagner and Rosemarie Waldrop.
The compositions played are by Jean- Sébastien Bach, Léo Ferré, Antoine Forqueray, Thomas Morley, Camille Saint-Saëns, Franz Schubert, Rev. John Skinner, Richard Wagner and an irish popular song.